Chicken Gratin with Salt-Baked Potatoes

ImageSaw this number on Masterchef recently and frankly it made me stand up and lick the television. Don’t judge me, I’m pregnant. Or whatever.



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 1 chicken, cut into 12 pieces*
  • 160g butter, softened
  • 2 eschalots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200ml white wine, such as Riesling
  • 500ml (2 cups)chicken stock
  • 80g parmesan, finely grated
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • Crusty bread, to serve (optional)


  • 6 egg whites
  • 150g salt
  • 100ml water
  • 500g plain flour
  • 480g potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chervil


  • 4 x 400ml individual pie dishes



  1. Preheat oven to 180c.
  2. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Season chicken with salt.
  4. Cook for 3-5 minutes until completely golden. Remove and place in a large bowl.
  5. Reduce heat to low. Melt 40g butter in pan.
  6. Cook eschalots and garlic for about 5 minutes or until softened, stirring regularly.
  7. Transfer to bowl with chicken, along with celery, thyme, bay leaves, wine and stock, mixing well to combine.
  8. Place 3 pieces of chicken into each pie dish.
  9. Divide vegetables and stock among dishes, to cover chicken pieces.
  10. Sprinkle over parmesan, breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Place onto a large tray, and bake in oven for 1 hour.


  1. Preheat oven to 180c
  2. For the salt crust dough, mix egg whites, salt, water and flour in bowl to form a dough. Divide dough into four, then roll into balls. Roll dough balls out, large enough to enclose potatoes. Place a potato into the centre of each piece of dough, and wrap up to enclose, ensuring the potato is completely encased. Place potatoes onto a tray, and bake for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, for the herbed butter, combine remaining 120g butter, chervil and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Transfer to a large piece of baking paper and roll up into a log.
  4. Refrigerate until needed.

Notes: Serves: 4

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Recipe: Emma Dean on Masterchef


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